news Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | December 11, 2014 | 06:10 p.m. IST On Monday, more than a 100 Panchayat Development Officers’ (PDO’s) from the Gadag district refused to continue with their duties and appealed for “euthanasia” instead. Aside from sounding a bit odd, this is how the PDO’s have chosen to voice their frustrations of longer working hours and lack of facilities to implement government schemes.  Euthanasia though is a prickly topic with strongly voiced arguments and the word, which when translated from Greek literally means “good death” is a sensitive issue. The PDO’s submitted a memorandum to the Zilla Panchayat CEO, who they in turn requested to take the issue up with the Governor, demanding “corrective steps” or “euthanasia”. “We have less staff to work with and there is added pressure of schemes like the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, MGNREGA and other housing schemes”, a PDO from Gadag told the News Minute on the condition of anonymity.  “I have been instructed to build 400 toilets per year”, she says, “with no proper internet facilities or electricity”, she adds.  “Due to these schemes, our working hours have also increased”. “Earlier it was a 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (8 hours) shift, and now work stretches from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (11 hours)”, she said.  By Wednesday, the PDOs had gone back to their desks, after being pacified by the Zilla Panchayat CEO with regards to providing a safe working atmosphere for them.  According to the Taluk Executive Officer from Gadag, B. Revanna, “Yes there were demands, some which can be resolved at our level and others at the State level”.  On being asked about the reported “political pressure” on PDO’s he said: “I don’t think so, yes, there were two or three complaints but there were no written ones”, adding that he had not been asked to comment on the matter and that it was closed. Yes, the matter may be closed but ideas, no matter how quirky, are picked up.  Close to 250 kilometres away, 68 out of 117 PDO’s from Yadgir had similar demands, according to reports from the same day. They have requests to decrease workload and complaints against constructing individual toilets under the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan. It is very simple to break down a particular word, call it “mercy killing”, and then ask to be killed on account of your perceived suffering.  Hopefully, it is just that inconsequential.

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